As the college basketball season looms, it's finally time for the Blue Zone to preview the 2022-23 Duke women's basketball roster. We previously looked at Bo Shaffer, Emma Schmidt, Jiselle Havas, Lee Volker, Imani Lewis, Emma Koabel, Vanessa de Jesus, Mia Heide, Kennedy Brown, Shay Bollin, Jordyn Oliver, Reigan Richardson, Taya Corosdale, Ashlon Jackson and Elizabeth Balogun. Here is reigning ACC Freshman of the Year Shayeann Day-Wilson:
Last year’s stat line: 12.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.7 APG, 27.9 MPG
Game breakdown: Entering her sophomore year, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year will be looking to make her impact on this Duke team. After coming off of the bench at the beginning of the year, Shayeann Day-Wilson earned a starting spot for the final stretch of the season, starting each of the last 17 games and was one of the few bright spots on what was a disappointing 2021-22 campaign. This is only her second season, and right now it seems like the sky is the limit for Day-Wilson’s talent.
A big part of her game is her ability to distribute the ball. The Toronto native led the Blue Devils in assists per game last year with 3.7, which was also good enough to put her on top of all ACC freshmen and seventh in overall assists amongst all ACC players. Especially for a freshman, her court vision was impressive last year and Day-Wilson consistently made difficult connections that created space on the floor and led to easy buckets for her teammates.
The other half of her offensive game comes in when she is putting the ball in the hoop herself. Day-Wilson led her team in points per game last year, and a large chunk of those points came from behind the line. She hit a respectable 33.6% from downtown, taking an average of 4.4 deep shots per game.
On top of those scoring numbers, when Day-Wilson’s shooting gets hot, it gets really hot. She exploded for 20 points or more in four games last season, including a 26-point monster game against Troy, where she went 8-for-10 from beyond the arc and 9-for-14 on field goals. There have been some sub-par games, like a two-point performance against Notre Dame where the guard missed all seven of her attempts from the floor, but in the grand scheme of things, her ability to take over games on offense will be key on a Blue Devil team looking to put as many points on the board as possible.
One area where she consistently struggled last year was her free throws. On the season, she averaged a mediocre-to-poor 69.2% clip at the line. As a guard who will likely be taking a lot of fouls when she drives into the paint, it will be tremendously helpful for Duke if Day-Wilson can bring those numbers up and become more of a threat from the charity stripe.
Role on the team: Day-Wilson can expect to be a starter for every game she is healthy this year. She earned that spot last year, and unless some serious unforeseen circumstances arise this year, she will be continuing in that role. She led her team in total minutes last year, and there is a good chance she will do so again this year.
Day-Wilson is looking to become one of the best scorers on not just head coach Kara Lawson’s crew but in the entire ACC. Her ability to space the floor with her deep shot and distribute the ball to her teammates means she will be an extremely valuable player on the offensive end of the court. Look for her to build on her breakout season last year and become an even more well-known name in women’s ball.
Projected stats: 13.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, 2.8 RPG, 26.0 MPG
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